Arteriosclerosis

Arteriosclerosis is one of the most common diseases of the blood vessels. It refers to a

thickening of the walls of the arteries due to the presence of calcium or lime. It has become a

common ailment in modern times, accounting for much of the disability and high death rate

among older people.

Arteriosclerosis is usually preceded by artherosclerosis, a kind of degeneration or softening of

the inner lining of the blood vessels walls. The most risky places for such degeneration are the

coronary vessels of the heart and the arteries leading to the brain. Arteriosclerosis results in the

loss of elasticity of the blood vessels, with a narrowing of the smaller arteries, which interferes

with the free circulation of the blood. These changes may gradually extend to capillaries and

veins.

Arteriosclerosis is more frequent in men than women, especially in the younger age-group. It has

been estimated that 40 per cent of all men over 40 years have a significant degree of obstruction

of their coronary arteries and this can lead to heart attack at any time.

Symptoms

The symptoms of arteriosclerosis vary with arteries involved. Signs of inadequate blood supply

generally appear first in the legs. There may be numbness and coldness in the feet and cramps

and pains in the legs even after light exercise. If the coronary arteries are involved, the patient

may have sharp pains, characteristic of angina pectoris. When arteries leading to the brain are

involved, the vessel may burst,causing haemorrhage in the brain tissues. A cerebral vascular

stroke, with partial or complete paralysis of one side of the body may result, if there is blockage

with a blood clot. It may also lead to loss of memory and a confused state of mind in elderly

people. If arteries leading to the kidneys are involved, the patient may suffer from high blood

pressure and kidney disorders.

Causes

The most important cause of arteriosclerosis is excessive intake of white sugar, refined foods

and high fat diet, rich in cholesterol. A sedentary life and excesses of all kinds are the major

contributing causes. Hardening of the arteries may also be caused by other diseases such as

high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, rheumatism, Bright’s disease, malaria, syphillis.

Emotional stress also plays an important part, and heart attacks are more common during the

periods of mental and emotional disturbances, particularly in those engaged in sedentary

occupations. Heredity also plays its role and this disease runs in families.

Treatment

If the causes of arteriosclerosis are known, remedial action should be taken promptly to remove

them. To begin with the patient should resort to a short juice fast for five to seven days. All

available fresh, raw vegetables and fruit juices in season may be taken. Grape-fruit juice,

pineapple juice, lemon juice and juices of green vegetables are especially beneficial. A warm

water enema should be used daily to cleanse the bowels during the period of fasting.

After the juice fast, the patient should take optimum diet made up from three basic food groups,

namely (i) seeds, nuts and grains, (ii) vegetables and, (iii) fruits, with emphasis on raw foods.

Plenty of raw and sprouted seeds and nuts should be used. Cold pressed vegetable oils,

particularly safflower oil, flax seed oil and olive oil should be used regularly.

Further, shorter fasts on juices may be undertaken at intervals of three months or so, depending

on the progress being made.

The patient should take several small meals instead of a few large ones. He should avoid all

hydrogenated fats and an excess of saturated fats, such as butter, cream, ghee and animal fat.

He should also avoid meat, salt and all refined and processed foods, condiments, sauces,

pickles , strong tea, coffee, white sugar, white flour and all products made from them. Foods

cooked in aluminum and copper utensils should not be taken as toxic metals entering the body

are known to be deposited on the walls of the aorta and the arteries. Smoking, if habitual, should

be given up as smoking constricts the arteries and aggravates the condition.

Recent investigations have shown that garlic and onions have a preventive effect on the

development of arteriosclerosis. Vitamin C has also proved beneficial as it helps in the

conversion of cholesterol into bile acids.

One of the most effective home remedies for arteriosclerosis is the lemon peel. It is believed to

be one of the richest known sources of vitamin P. It strengthens the entire arterial system.

Shredded lemon peel may be added to soups and stews, or sprinkled over salads. To make a

medicine, the peel of one or two lemons may be cut up finely, covered with warm water and

allowed to stand for about 12 hours. A teaspoonful may be taken every three hours, or

immediately before or after a meal.

Parsley is another effective home remedy for arteriosclerosis. It contains elements which help to

maintain the blood vessels, particularly the capillaries and arterial system in a healthy condition.

It may be taken as a beverage by stimmering it gently in the water for a few minutes and

partaking several times daily.

The beet juice has also proved valuable in arteriosclerosis. It is an excellent solvent for inorganic

calcium deposit. Juices of carrot and spinach are also beneficial. These juices can be taken

individually or in combination. Formula proportions found helpful when used in combination are

carrot 300 m.l. and spinach 200 m.l. to prepare 500 m.l. of juice.

The patient should undertake plenty of outdoor exercise and eliminate all mental stress and

worries. Prolonged neutral immersion baths at bed time on alternate days is beneficial. This bath

is administered in a bath tub which should be properly fitted with hot and cold water connection.

The bath-tub should be fitted with water at a temperature ranging from 92 o to 98 o F and the

patient should lie in it for an hour or so. The head should be kept cold with a cold compress.

Photos provided by Pexels

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